Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston.  He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester.  Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011.  Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.

Ways to Connect

WAMC

Private reflections and the tolling of church bells today marked the fifth anniversary of an unprecedented natural disaster in western Massachusetts.  A tornado, with sustained winds of 160 miles-an-hour claimed three lives, injured scores of people, left children emotionally scarred, and damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings and tens of thousands of trees.

           Wednesday, June 1st, marks the fifth anniversary of the most powerful storm to strike Massachusetts in a half-century.

 Armando Feliciano said it does not seem as if five years have passed since he hustled his family into the basement of their Springfield home and shielded them as a tornado sent trees crashing through the roof and walls.

"To this day, every time I open that door in my house, I say ' I remember this tornado' and I remember walking into my house that day," Feliciano said in an interview on the eve of the 5th anniversary of the tornado.

Springfield is considering adopting a Massachusetts law that allows for a property tax surcharge to create a local fund for historic preservation projects, protecting open space, and supporting affordable housing.

Preservation Massachusetts Inc

This Wednesday, June 1st,  marks the fifth anniversary of a devastating tornado striking western Massachusetts.

    As he has done in years past, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has called for a city-wide moment of reflection on the tornado anniversary.

" We want to commemorate it, not celebrate it.  I've asked the houses of worship to ring the bells at 4:38 p.m.," said Sarno.

The tornado, the most powerful storm to strike Massachusetts in 50 years, left a 6 mile scar through the city and tore up trees and buildings in a half-dozen towns.  Three people died. 

Officlas in hard hats tour Union Station
WAMC

As many as 40 antique wooden benches that were supposed to be incorporated into a renovation project at Springfield's Union Station transportation hub have been stolen.

The $88 million restoration of Union Station is being overseen not only by construction and transportation experts, but also historical consultants. 

Joe Carvalho, retired president of the Springfield Museums, said the plan is to use restored artifacts from the station’s heyday to highlight the history of transportation in Springfield.

Palmer Renewable Energy

Opponents of planned wood-burning power plant in Springfield, Massachusetts are calling on the city’s health board to review the project.

Red flags have been raised about the pension fund for public employees in the third-largest city in Massachusetts.

As a slain Massachusetts police officer is laid to rest, officials in the state court system have announced plans to review the handling of the criminal cases of the man alleged to have gunned down the officer.  The suspect was later killed by police.  

Wikipedia

The University of Massachusetts endowment will be divested of direct holdings in fossil fuels.

New details about the criminal history of the man who murdered a Massachusetts police officer this week have renewed calls for bail reform.

WAMC

    A state legislator from Springfield is working to craft a bill he believes will make it easier for municipalities throughout Massachusetts to rid neighborhoods of abandoned, blighted buildings by forcing owners to step out of the shadows.

       The Massachusetts House is expected to pass a bill today to make it easier for people to obtain public information from the state and local governments.  It is the first major overhaul of the state’s public records law in more than forty years.

        WAMC’s Paul Tuthill spoke with Democratic State Representative Stephen Kulik of Worthington who sat on the bi-partisan conference committee that drafted the final compromise bill.

State Rep. Benjamin Swan
WAMC

A long-time state lawmaker from western Massachusetts known as the “Conscience of the House” is retiring from public service, and hoping to turn his seat in the Statehouse over to his son.

a blighted house is demolished
WAMC

     A state legislator is planning to file a bill to make it easier to rid Massachusetts municipalities of blighted property.

           State Rep. Carlos Gonzalez of Springfield is crafting legislation that would set a 30-day deadline in Massachusetts to register the transfer of ownership of a property. 

       He said too often when there is a foreclosure, or distress sale, a new owner delays registering the deed. It makes it difficult for officials to find the rightful owner if the property is later abandoned.

WAMC

A public art and beautification project began Monday in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Tributes continue for a Massachusetts police officer shot and killed over the weekend during a traffic stop.

A Massachusetts police officer was fatally shot Sunday by a suspect who was later killed in a shootout that left a state trooper wounded. 

MassBenchmarks

Economic indicators, including the just released unemployment rate for April, are generally positive for Massachusetts.  But, a panel of economists writing  in the economic journal MassBenchmarks warns the state’s economy is on precarious footing. 

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Robert Nakosteen, an economics professor at UMass Amherst and executive editor of MassBenchmarks.

wikipedia.org

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts is scheduled to vote Monday on a special permit for the city’s first medical marijuana dispensary.

Springfield apartment complex for homeless veterans
WAMC

An apartment complex for homeless veterans opened Friday in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Wikipedia

A conservative-leaning think tank and the University of Massachusetts clashed this week over admissions policy and capital expenses at the state’s land-grant public university system.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker
WAMC

The number of homeless families living in hotels and motels at state expense is down sharply in Massachusetts.  Gov. Charlie Baker is making good on a pledge to end the practice.

Mass.Dept of Veterans Services

Following a management shakeup last year, the Baker administration has named a new superintendent at the only long-term care facility for veterans in western Massachusetts.

umass.edu

A study from a conservative-leaning think tank is criticizing the University of Massachusetts for admitting too many out-of-state students.

WAMC

Massachusetts is the only state in the nation with a statewide bike week.  Hundreds of events are taking place this week from the Berkshires to Cape Cod where bicycling is highlighted as an alternative form of transportation. 

WAMC

The number of homeless families living in motels at state expense in Massachusetts is down sharply.

The Massachusetts legislature is expected to take an initial step tomorrow in enacting a so-called “millionaires’ tax.”  Advocates on both sides are stepping up their lobbying.

crews work to repair a hole in a street
WAMC

In the wake of a water main break that caused a large sinkhole in downtown Springfield earlier this month, city councilors have called for a series of meetings to discuss the status of the city’s underground infrastructure.

MGMSpringfield

Massachusetts casino regulators have approved a redesign of the MGM Springfield casino with the chairman of the state gaming commission saying he remains excited about the project’s potential to lift the economically struggling city.

An artists rendering of the proposed MGM Casino in Springfield, MA
MGMSpringfield

Massachusetts gaming industry regulators are expected to vote Thursday on design changes for the MGM Springfield casino.

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